GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) Fruita Monument, a 15th seed, faced off against Arapahoe, an 18th seed for the first round of the 2013 5A boys soccer state playoffs, but they fell short 3-1.
The Wildcats have made the playoff cut year after year, but the biggest difficulty has been making it past the first round. In order to do so this season, they had to get through a tough Arapahoe Warriors team.
Even though the warriors sat three seeds back with one-third of the goals scored, they came in from the Centennial League - one of the strongest leagues in the state, so they're used to big competition.
Though Fruita was first on the board with an unstoppable kick to the top corner courtesy of Devin Bird, Arapahoe would be quick to respond when a mix up at the goal allowed Brendon Mendelson a clear and easy shot into the open net, tying the game.
Then with less than two minutes on the clock in the first half, the Warriors do it again. This time it would be Jack Ryan who breaks free and goes one-on-one against Dominic Gaty. Gaty would try to narrow the angle, but Ryan found a way around it for the lead.
In the second half, it was tough for the Wildcats to respond and find their usual offensive rhythm. Each shot taken by Fruita's scoring leader Wesley Padgett seemed just off the mark, while his teammates had the same trouble.
The Arapahoe Warriors would add another goal before the game ended, defeating Fruita Monument 3-1.
After the game, head coach Dan McKee talked about the opportunity to coach the seniors through high school.
"I enjoyed watching those guys grow over the four years, and it was just big to kind of watch them mature and take over the responsibility of each year just grow a little bit more, a little bit more, a little bit more, and just become better players," he said. "They became a better team that way."